The American Cyclopædia (1879)/Moffat, Robert
MOFFAT, Robert, a Scottish missionary, born at Inverkeithing, Fifeshire, in 1795. He was reared in the Secession church, but his religious associations from 1811 till 1816 were largely with the Methodists of England, where he then lived. He was a gardener, but devoted his leisure hours to study, and in 1815 offered himself as a missionary. He was originally destined to accompany Williams to the South sea, but was finally sent to South Africa. He sailed in 1817, and immediately on his arrival at Cape Town went to Namaqualand, where he entered upon his labors at the kraal of Africaner, a chief whose name had long been a terror to the neighboring districts, but who had lately become an enthusiastic convert to Christianity. Here Moffat labored for three or four years with great success. But the situation being unsuitable for a principal mission station, he set out in search of a better locality, and labored successively with much promise in the countries to the north and northeast of Cape Colony, and in every place guided the people in the arts of civilized life. He often made tours among barbarous warlike tribes. His remarkable adventures in these journeys are described in his “Missionary Labors and Scenes in Southern Africa” (8vo, London, 1842), which he wrote and published during a visit of several years to Britain, rendered necessary by the state of his health. During his stay there, he also carried through the press a version of the New Testament and the Psalms in the Bechuana language. He returned to Africa in 1842, and continued there until recently, when he went back to London. He has compiled a “Seeuana Hymn Book” (London, 1843), and his “Farewell Services” were edited by Dr. Campbell, and published in 1843. Dr. Livingstone was Moffat's son-in-law.